Government & Constitution

Nurse files complaint: I witnessed Justina’s unlawful inprisonment

Nurse files complaint: I witnessed Justina's unlawful inprisonment
(Courtesy of Liberty Counsel)

A Boston psychiatric nurse with care responsiblities of Justina Pelletier filed a mandated reporter complaint against Boston Children’s Hospital alleging unlawful imprisonment of Connecticut teen in custody by state authorities for 14 months. 

When clinicians at Boston Childrens Hospital diagnosed Justina Pelletier with Somatic Symptoms disorder, a psychological condition, in February 2013 Justina and at the hospital’s initiative Justina was placed against her will in a locked psychiatric unit, said Kathleen T. Higgins, R.N. in her written complaint to Department of Children & Families Commissioner Olga Roche.

In a letter dated Jan. 8 she wrote: “Since April 23, 2013, I have been engaged with Linda, Lou and Jennifer Pelletier, the parents and eldest sister of Justina Pelletier, to facilitate Justina’s discharge from Bader 5, inpatient psychiatric unit of Boston Children’s Hospital, where she has been unjustly and illegally imprisoned for the past nine months.”

Prior to Justina’s admission to Bader 5, she had spent two months as a ward of the state after clinicians in a rush to judgment, determined “medical child neglect” against Justina’s parents, Linda and Lou Pelletier, she wrote. 

When Suffolk County juvenile court justice, Hon. Joseph F. Johnston, ruled On Feb. 15, 2013 in favor of BCH clinicians and granted DCF temporary custody of the minor child, she said Justina’s life was derailed. 

“The pronouncement that shattered Justina’s life was rendered by a total stranger who sentenced her to undergoing the stress of radical changes in her basic medical care, before being moved to a more secure area of BCH where contact with her family would be more severely limited and more strictly monitored.”

Higgins, who has over 20 years experience in child psychology, reported that every facet of Justina’s life that held meaning for her was removed and replaced with a state devoid of compassion and conscience.

Presumably Dr. Colleen Ryan, the attending psychiatrist, intended to prevent harm caused by medical care Justina’s parents had choose to pursue at Tufts Medical Center, however such alleged harm does not outweigh the emotional and medical abuse sustained by Justina at the hands of BCH, she said in the complaint. “Justina was forced to accept her imprisonment to relinquish her basic human rights because it was deemed ‘unsafe’ for her to have access to the medical care she expected to receive at BCH.”

Without a history of “serious mental illness” or without behaviors to indicate she was at risk for harming herself or others, keeping Justina a prisoner against her will is abusive in itself, the nurse wrote.  

Justina was removed from Bader 5 at BCH in mid-January, but is still in the custody of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts against the wishes of her parents,  who told Human Events that they maintain that DCF and BCH are overriding their parental rights and are preventing Justina from receiving the medical care she needs.

“I am against government control of children unless they are in criminal danger,” said Dr. Monty Weinstein, founder and board chair of Georgia-based National Parents’ Rights Association.  “Because if they are allowed this type of thinking now, the next time the government will tell you where to go to church, what to do and how to do it.”

Weinstein said the government is taking children away from parents without an imminent harm threshold as required by law because the financial incentives to remove children from any parent are too great.

“Government agencies get a great deal of federal money for placing children into foster care,” said the director of Family Therapy Center for New York & Georgia, Inc. “They manipulate parental rights by using the courts.”

Weinstein, who is a Harvard Medical School graduate, testifies all over the country in civil cases on behalf of good parents who want their children back from the government, he said.

If parents do not comply with child protective services, he said they will unlawfully whisk our children away causing untold damages to family-life. “Children are put in foster care and what happens down the road is they get depressed and a lot of psychological problems develop.”

The child protective industry is destroying families for money and manipulation, said Weinstein who is a recognized top expert in the field of parental alienation. “I do not believe the government should take over what parents want for their children.” Parental alienation is the systematic and methodical removal of the non-custodial parent from the lives of his or her children by psychological means.

NPRA advocates against psychological boards who operate to take control away from natural parents when they disagree with the state, said Weinstein. “Just because parents do not agree with the mode of treatment, does not mean the child should be lost.”

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